Replacing a motherboard

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hefty1, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. hefty1


    The other morning my utility PC refused to turn on, just giving me 6 beeps instead. Researching the prob I found that its a keyboard error. I replaced the keyboard with no results so I am thinking I need a new motherboard.

    Since I am so adamantly DIY, I dont want to pay someone to make the switch for me.

    How difficult is switching out a motherboard? Are the only tools I need a screw driver and possibly a solder gun?


  2. Try swapping out your ram first , if you have 2 sticks then just try booting with one and then try the other to rule out that.
  3. If you can't even boot into bios, swapping out boards may be worthwhile.
    If you have a spare PC, you can just
    put your hard-drive in that unit to verify it is ok.
    Check to verify you can't boot to bios 1st.

    About the only thing that is somewhat difficult is actually changing the CPU, because the pins can get bent if you are not careful and it's a major pain to realign.

    Otherwise, there's not much to it.
    Make sure the new motherboard fits the case.
    Don't be afraid, and research the web for step by step articles.
    Look around a bit for similar cases.
  4. jetbird


    Replace/test your power supply. This would be the first step.

  5. You can verify a removed power supply with any voltmeter, but you have to short an ATX ground jumper somewhere or it will give you a false dead reading. Look around the internet to see which it is.
  6. PC's are pretty cheap.

    If it doesn't start acting right after you've spent some time on it, just junk the thing and get a new one.

    They're extremely disposable, it's that data that's priceless.

    Good trading
  7. True. It's a heck of a lot cheaper to just buy a new one than to build part by part, unless you enjoy paying for the fun of building. The key is take out that drive and make sure it is readable on another computer and you are good to go.
  8. TGregg


    No solder gun. And if you have the skill to solder onto a circuit board then you are likely (over)qualified to swap out mainboards IMO.

    With the single exception of the CPU, it's all plug and play. Things snap in or screw in and it's pretty basic. The only worries about the CPU are pulling it without destroying it(a cheap chip puller might be worth your while, or you can borrow one if you know somebody, but a lot of sockets don't need `em) and slapping on some thermal grease on top of the CPU so it cools well when you slap the heat sink/fan on it. And a little caution when you insert it into the new socket is a good idea.

    Ultimately, it's a lot of fun for some of us. I greatly enjoy designing, shopping for parts and building my new systems. But if it doesn't sound like fun to you, you're probably better off getting a new box.
  9. TGregg


    No it's not.

    First consider you do not need to purchase an OS, nor keyboard, nor mouse, nor monitor, nor printer, nor speakers, nor floppy drive, nor NIC, etc. if you are replacing just the computer.

    But even if you are (for some weird reason) replacing all that stuff as well, you can still build a better system with top quality parts for less. By picking your exact price points on the performance curves, you can get more bang for the buck by designing and building your own system.

    The big boys can stuff whatever crap they want into the box. Most folks will never know, until it dies 5 weeks after the warranty runs out. And how many are technical enough to say "Wow, this system has a huge RAM bottleneck because of this nasty cheap slow memory - WTF 12-12-12-20?!" Not many. The Big Corporate maker saves a fin by putting crap RAM in your box, but you suffer with a 10% degradation in speed. Build your system with matching, top notch parts - it's a useful end.

    For an easy example, take my keyboard. It's a Logitech G15. It sports a couple USB ports, an LCD screen, a volume control and (my favorite) lighted keys. This keyboard is not available (AFAIK) as part of a system purchase.

    However, if one does not enjoy figuring out all this tech, shopping around and comparing endless prices/performance curves, then assembling the darn thing and troubleshooting any problems, then one is probably better off buying a system. When I build a new system, I always spend an amazing amount of time learning all the new tech that had come out in the last year or two.

    But I consider that fun. If it were boring drudgery, I'd just call up Dell.
  10. I've built quite a few, and to my recollection, unless the individual parts went down in price. It is MUCH cheaper to buy pre-built. Consider the OS alone costs what? $200.

    I've seen some complete systems with monitors mentioned on this board alone in the 2-300 dollar range.

    It is fun building them, I agree. But I don't really agree on cost factor. Add to that, even the smaller items, like thermal grease, wire ties, fans, etc...
    The cost adds up. The only reason I like to build em, is as you say, you can customize to your heart's content with quality where it's needed. Otherwise, for cost, I don't think that would be my choice.

    One thing I do agree with, however, is the systems I built practically last forever. Only problem is software and hardware vendors keep coming up with non-backwards compatible stuff to force upgrades; often of entire system.
    #10     Apr 23, 2009